Recommending Atmospheric Reads

“In the year that Summer stayed too long, the heat lay upon the prairie with the weight of a corpse.”

First line in The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Hi, guys. Today I wanted to talk about the kind of books I usually love: books with a great atmosphere. It’s the kind of books where the author manages to create a certain feeling or mood with the reader through the description of elements in the book. Some authors are true masters of this kind of writing style so today I wanted so share some of my favorite books from those said authors. Let’s get into them.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The book that prompted this post because I wanted an excuse to talk about it some more. Morgenstern creates an atmosphere that is magical, wintery, and warm. On top of that, she managed to make me feel that sense of belonging and hominess that comes from reading about other readers.

Circe by Madeline Miller

In Circe, Madeline Miller tells the story of Circe from The Odyssey, but let’s us see everything from Circe’s perspective. That gives us an empowering and atmospheric read with magic and nature at the core. As a reader, we are forced to feel Circe’s loneliness and insecurity as she tries to find her place in the world of Gods and mythological creatures.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns is a collection of fairy tales from Bardugo’s Grisha Verse but you don’t need to have read anything else before picking this one up. These stories perfectly capture that sinister mood and moralising tone of traditional fairy tales. The physical version of this book also has stunning artwork that will draw you into the stories and their atmosphere even more.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

A classic children’s book with a very popular movie that explores the wonders of a child’s imagination. The atmospheric part of this book is especially prevalent when we’re experiencing this imaginary land of Fantastica.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

A large part of The Binding takes place in the countryside where we follow a boy and his family. There is a certain calmness to this book which is evident in the writing style. When romance enters the story, that calmness is mixed with love and makes this book such a beautiful read.

Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

As you can probably tell from the title, this is a perfect trilogy if you’re looking for a wintery atmosphere. Arden is great at conveying cold in this one so that you will be freezing just as much as the character while reading it (well probably not, but still). These books are also heavily inspired by Russian folklore which makes the atmosphere have this sort of fairy tale-esque sort of feeling to it.

Those were 6 books that I think have such a great atmosphere. In general, I would recommend the authors’ other works too if you want more books to read. I’ve just picked my favorite ones from each. Do you love these kinds of books, too? Do you know of any other books with a great atmosphere? Let me know in the comments.

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